archived blog

Here you will find demos, tutorials, artist resources, and more that I've posted from October 2015 to February 2017.  All the posts are still available here and will continue to be for your convenience.  While I would love to continue posting here, the blog feature is difficult to operate and creates more work than it should, so I'm switching to Blogger. 


Please bookmark my new blog at  where I'll be posting from now on, and with more user-friendly features I can post more often!  As always you can get updates and links through my newsletter as well!  Thanks so much for your understanding and support.

Mermaid, Witch, & Cosmonaut Walk Into a Bar...

Mermaid, Witch, Cosmonaut Image Trio by Johnny Perez - Watercolor Paintings
Mermaid, Witch, Cosmonaut Image Trio - Watercolor - 6" x 9" respectively

Ok so maybe the mermaid doesn't walk.  But they each have a vodka tonic and exchange advice on world domination. 


This is a special trio of women that I created for a giveaway on Instagram, the likes of which you should not miss!  I worked very long hours to bring out the best of each.  I'll be doing these regularly until I'm satisfied that my work has circulated!  If you want to be in on the next giveaway, subscribe here.  Chances are I will draw my next winner from my email list.  But more on that later...


In this post I'm gonna show you some progress pictures of these works.  I'll tell you what I used and creative problems I had along the way.  I call this a "Process Lab" and you can find more posts like this, some with video, here.  Let's get started with my first giveaway prize, Mermaid!

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Sketchbooking Demo: Blue Alien Female in Watercolor

Watch me draw, paint, and ink this colorful blue alien female portrait in my sketchbook!  Blue is my favorite color that's why you may see me use it a lot.  FOR EVERYTHING!  Seriously thinking I'll have myself a Blue Period like Picasso.  I mean why not?! 


Also, I don't always draw girls with short hair, but when I do, they have mohawks!  Haha!  Very inspired by Storm from X-Men's punk era. 


Anyway I have plenty of ideas to hash out for my cosmonaut series of illustrations, and I have yet to do an official cool-skinned alien!   So that may be coming up on the horizon.  I have yet another studio move to make in a few months.  Thankfully its a short distance to another apartment in my complex!  In the meantime I have started my  urban sketches of Mexico project, and I stay working in the sketchbook on the next big thing.  So here's a piece of that book of ideas, enjoy!

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10 Days of Culture, Sights, & Living in Monterrey Nuevo Leon Mexico

Plaza Mexico - Mercado Morelos - Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico
Plaza Mexico - Mercado Morelos - Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, MX

Mexico was amazing! The beauty of the city was breathtaking!  There's so much color and history to explore, I didn't even get to see it all.  I took about a million pictures, a few of which I'll share below.   I'll be going over my reference photos to inspire some beautiful paintings of urban life and landscapes.


I picked up a word or two on my trip, and became a little better at following Spanish in conversation.  I learned how different my perspective and reality were of the country in general.   I got to see a real Dia de Muertos celebration in the cemetery.  It's not the painted faces, and parades we often see here.  There were countless rows of beautiful white tombstones covered in flowers and statues, with the mountains as a backdrop.  I saw gorgeous altars all over the city,  colorful murals, artsy cafes, and so much great architecture!  Here are just a few of the photos I took...

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Sketchbooking Demo: Young Female

Have you been waiting for another long form video of art making?  The process can be mysterious for many, and for creators, it can go by quickly.  Thirty minutes later something is there that wasn't there before.  Mistakes and all! Sketchbooking with Johnny takes you on one such journey.  There is no plan when sketching, just choices made along the way.  I find it interesting to be able to look back on those choices and see where alternate routes could've taken, or see how unknowingly the product can come together despite seemingly random paths.   It can be meditative at times.  If you're looking to see how my process looks while I'm in the throws of creativity, then check this video out! Its about 25 minutes and features some of my Garage Band music mixing. 


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Ooops! Spilled Ink Drawing Time Lapse

It happened just as I stood up and looked longingly at my favorite chair.  NOOO!! *Expletive* My decorative paper, my tools, my large protective paper were covered in a puddle of ink. 


Accidents happen in the studio, in the kitchen, in the office.  Often times you may have to start over, especially if its technology related.  But not always.  Save often, so says the motto.  Artists don't always have that option however.  I'd been working on my Inktober drawing for the night.  It was late, and I was tired.  I was having a hard enough time thinking of my line work, and just wanting to get through this slump of ideas.  I didn't know what it was I needed until it happened.


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Time-Lapse of No. 9 Ghost Inktober Drawing

A familiar voice calls out your name, you go to your son/daughter/boyfriend/girlfriend in the other room and ask what they wanted.  They look at you crazy and say, they haven't said a word.  Sometimes they say they've only thought it.  Dun DUN DUN!


Is it the work of ghosts?  Transmitting thoughts and sounds over the astral plane?  This has happened to me more times than I can count, and I often just attribute it to a sound that my brain interpreted as my name.  Surely science can back that up right?  Right?!


I mean people have deja-vu constantly and science has proven that it is misfired synapses in the brain that cause the person to think they have visited or experienced something before when they really haven't.  What a cruel joke your brain playing!  I personally not sure I believe that explanation anyway.  Its not much better believing I actually have experienced a situation before, because that raises a million spooky questions, but at least I know I'm not crazy and my brain is not against me, am I right?

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Time-Lapse of No. 8 Inktober Drawing

Ok, so I know the picture says No. 7, and thats because I'm playing catch up on my daily drawings and I lost count!  Artists make mistakes! And its ok, they will happen, and you have to roll with it. I did.  Watch me turn that bad ass 7 into an 8. 


No. 8 is a beautiful succubus contemplating her life choices.  Or maybe she's deeply pondering the next evil deed.  I'll let you decide!  Hey I'm just the messenger, not the interpreter.  I'm just the riverbed by which the creative river flows. 

I've been watching a lot of Inktober videos by some of my favorite illustration artists, Jacqueline DeLeon, Aurdra Auclair, and Bao Pahm, on YouTube.  I spend a lot of time there watching funny videos, and art videos.  The learning never stops! Nor does the admiration for that matter.  Anyway, I wanted to create an inktober video for you to see my process in motion.

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Inktober 2016 Drawings of Halloween Ghouls, Monsters, and Vixens

I walked outside and was brushed with cool wind and cloudy skies overhead.  I love autumn.  When I was a kid, Halloween was my most favorite time of year!  I grew up being scared most of the time, and to this day I can't sleep without a night light, but it was fun!  At least thinking back on it now it seems so.  I can confess some spooky tales of childhood trauma and my creative older sister if you hang with me a moment.


Firstly, Inktober is a fun time in October where artists of every level and location, post a work each day of month.  Thirty-one drawings for Halloween usually.  Last year I participated it was quite fun to see all the participants using the #inktober hashtag.  Its a fun way to discover other artists' work and practice your skills.  Its also a great way to get new fans of your work, since a lot more people follow the hashtag and look at it everyday to see the new stuff!


If you're an artist, you like drawing, or you're just curious then you should definitely take a look at this collective building event!  You don't have to do scary, most people just do what they like, and even paint or add their own flourish.  I use it as a time to practice drawing in brush ink, quill, pen, and marker.  You can check out my last year's work in the "Related Articles" at the end of the post.  Here is what I have so far, take a look and then I'll take you back to my haunted house in 1992.

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Ink Drawing: Witch of the Wood

When my friends first asked if I wanted to play D&D I looked at them crazy and said, "Do I look like THAT much of a nerd?"  I mean sure I liked video games, and fantasy stories, and I was very familiar with how the game worked, but when I thought of the level of geekdom it took to play this game, I was sure it wasn't for me.  How wrong I was.  Later on I discovered just how connected I was.  More about that in a bit.  I chose to play the Druid, because the story was something like this:  Its a cool day in the forest, and the sounds of rustling wind seem to act as the voice of the trees.  After wandering for hours in the deep wood a green witch, also known as a druid, stops for rest on a fallen tree.  She is nature's advocate, and radiates with earth energy.  The animals sense her nature and often are attracted to her aura's light.  Some are her friends that she's spent personal time getting to know.  Druids can also shape-shift and often run with the pack of wolves to howl at the moon, or soar the skies with eagles.  They are solitary but by no means lonely.  They may prefer the company of animals and plants to that of humans (a sentiment I definitely relate to). 

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Sketchbook Entry: Witch Drawing

woman in cape and holding wand sits next to candles and eyes peering behind her
Sketchbook entry 9/22/16
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